The best and healthiest vegan chicken noodle soup, made in the instant pot: “quicken” noodle soup! Oil-free, and whole foods plant-based.
Soup season is here, and I’ve got your whole foods vegan chicken noodle soup recipe!
Even better? This one is made in the instant pot, so it’s a “Quicken” Nooodle Soup.
I know, always playing with recipe names. Beyond Beet Burgers, Nice Krispie Squares, Shipshape Joe’s. Hey, it’s what I do, and part of the joy in my recipe development.
This recipe comes from my new book, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen, and is the first official recipe feature from the book.
I decided to share this recipe with you because (1) it’s soup season, and (2) it’s already getting lots of love from readers.
Plus, it’s another excuse to use the instant pot, which we all seem to love in the plant-based cooking world.
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
So it only took me over 20 years and six cookbooks to create a vegan chicken noodle soup.
Why the wait?
Well, I never cared to replace the chicken with a vegan meat substitute. Chicken noodle soup was always more about the noodles than the chicken for me.
Still, I knew in creating a this soup that *something* would need to stand in for the chicken in this classic soup recipe.
Before creating this recipe, I had also already developed recipes that ‘checked’ the boxes of comfort food and feeling under the weather. My Sniffle Soup is one of those recipes, and is well-loved. Another is my Chickpea ‘n Rice Soup from Plant-Powered Families.
Something tugged on me to develop a more classic, vegan chicken noodle soup. And here we are.
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup FAQs
Yes! Since this is a whole foods plant-based noodle soup, it is very healthy. It’s not only free from the saturated fats, cholesterol, and contaminants in chicken, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, fibre, and other plant-based nutrients.
No! I opt to use tofu in this recipe, and it works very well. If you don’t want to use tofu, chickpeas are an excellent substitute.
Please see answer above.
I think other soups freeze better, such as lentil soups and pureed soups, because noodles don’t freeze especially well. But, it certainly can be frozen and enjoyed for a later date. It’s just that the texture of the pasta (and tofu) will be different. But, as I always say… “Martha isn’t coming for dinner”… so if the texture doesn’t phase you, it will freeze fine.
The flavor of the soup is excellent freshly made. But like most soups, the flavors can develop even more after refrigerating leftovers for a day or two.
Oh and hey! I did a cooking demo of this recipe – live video “Tea Time with Dreena“. Watch ⬆️ and get the recipe below.
Pressure Cooker Quicken Noodle Soup
- pressure cooker
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrot
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage or dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric optional
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/3-1/2 lb dry spaghetti noodles of choice broken into thirds (see note)
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled firm or extra-firm tofu see note
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 – 5 1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley plus more for optional garnish
- Set a multifunction pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot) to sauté. Pour in the 2–3 tablespoons water and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, thyme, oregano, sage, turmeric (if using), and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes. Add the spaghetti, tofu, bay leaves, boiling water (5 cups for lesser amount of pasta, 51/2 cups for more pasta), and broth. Gently stir.
- Secure the lid and set the valve to the “sealed” position. Press the Manual button, then set the cook time for 3 minutes at high pressure. Allow the pot to come to pressure and cook. Once the timer goes off, turn off the pot and allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, release the lid and stir in the parsley and let sit for a couple of minutes. Taste and season with extra salt and/or pepper if desired, and sprinkle with the optional parsley garnish.
images by Angela MacNeil
I made this! With quinoa-rice pasta, chickpeas rather than tofu. It’s good! Comforting.
Tuğçe Hobden says
Sounds and looks delicious. Can I cook this in a normal pot if I don’t have a pressure cooker?
Sounds wonderful! I don’t have tofu but I have 2 cans jackfruit wanting to be used! I’ll sauté 1 can first, remove from IP than follow your recipe! I’m still waiting for snow, this will be a perfect warm me up after shoveling.
My husband really liked this! His one comment was that the tofu itself didn’t have a lot of flavor. I guess it didn’t soak it up in the broth. Maybe tomorrow it will be more flavorful.
Christine Hanner says
Could I add soy curls instead of the tofu? This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it.
Dreena Burton says
Hi Christine, absolutely you can – you’ll just want to presoak the curls so they don’t soak up all the liquid in the soup. So presoak, drain, then add. Enjoy!
Helen Butt says
This is delicious! I used soy curls, also added a little poultry seasoning.
This is quickly becoming one of our favorite winter recipes! It’s quick, easy, and turns out perfectly every time. Thank you!
thank you so much, Beth! Such a delight to read this, and sharing your feedback for others to try the recipe – many thanks
The pasta was a little softer than I tend to like mine so I might just make is separate next time or cut down the release time or something but overall it was very tasty and easy to put together. I really liked the addition of the tofu
Wonderful, thanks Kyle, and yes you can definitely shorten time for pasta doneness – and that varies by type of pasta as well. Thanks for the feedback.
Hi, I’m planning to make this soup but I don’t actually like my instant pot and would much prefer to use my Dutch oven. I’m hung up on the tofu piece. I usually bake or sauté my tofu. I’ve never put it in soup. At what point would you recommend adding the tofu? Many thanks in advance! This will be my first recipe in your newest book. Can’t wait!
Hi Beth, you can still first saute or bake the tofu if you want, to add extra flavor – and then add in to the soup just before serving. That might give it the texture and flavor appeal that you’re accustomed to. Hope that helps, and hope you love the soup!
Going to make this! Could you use chick pea pasta in this recipe?
For sure, just note that it might break down. I find chickpea pasta doesn’t hold shape well – so maybe do manual release instead of natural so it doesn’t overcook.